8 Signs Of Relationship Commitment Issues And How To Fix It

Because it is better to address them before things go way out of hand.

Reviewed by Ronald Hoang, Relationship & Family Counselor Ronald Hoang Ronald HoangRelationship & Family Counselor linkedin_iconyoutube_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature), Certified Relationship Coach Shivani Chandel MA (English Literature), Certified Relationship Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English) Subhrojyoti Mukherjee MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
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If you are going through commitment issues in relationships or finding ways to deal with commitment-phobic partners, you have come to the right place. Committing yourself to someone is not an easy thing to do. It needs a lot of courage and spirit. Most people struggle to do it because of various insecurities. In this article, we discuss the causes of commitment issues in relationships, their signs, and how to deal with them. Keep scrolling!

What Are Relationship Commitment Issues?

Commitment issues involve an intense fear of committing to any romantic relationship. This does not mean that the person is not interested in a relationship or dislikes the other person. A person with commitment issues merely refuses to commit to a relationship wholeheartedly.

The reason behind this fear can vary. While some people are scared of committing to a relationship forever, others may be scared of being hurt or cheated on by their partner. Some develop such issues due to their upbringing and unhealthy family environment. Others might pick up these fears due to past relationships that did not end well.

Ronald Hoang, Relationship and Family Counselor, says, “Commitment issues are typically an indicator of an avoidant attachment style. Your attachment style determines how you tend to interact and behave in relationships with others. It is shaped by our early childhood experiences with our caregivers, but also can be shaped by later relationships in life.”

Let’s explore why someone has such commitment issues in the next section.

What Causes Commitment Issues In A Relationship?

1. Past Experiences

Sometimes your bad experiences in the past may affect your future relationships. If your trust was broken before, it might stop you from trusting somebody again. This, in turn, may give rise to a fear of being committed to anyone as a way of protecting yourself.

2. Unrealistic Expectations

It is natural to grow some expectations from your significant other. However, setting up expectations for your romantic partner and seeing them not live up to those expectations may disappoint you. This disappointment is something that may affect your heart and hurt your relationship. And carrying these failed expectations can make you reluctant to commit to anyone in fear of getting hurt again.

3. Childhood Experiences

If you have witnessed your parents arguing or getting divorced, you may develop a negative outlook towards relationships and fear committing to them. This is also known as the avoidant attachment style, which is characterized by issues with closeness and intimacy, and such people avoid investing emotionally in relationships. Hoang adds, “They are people who you might describe as very independent. The metaphor I like to use is like an island – they are alone, but self-sustaining, they don’t need anyone else to survive. As a child, they learned that they couldn’t rely on their parents, and this shapes how they relate to others in relationships later on in life.”

4. Hope Of Finding A Better Partner

Many people do not want to settle for just one partner because they believe that someone better will come. This kind of mindset sometimes stops people from fully committing themselves to one relationship. These people will refuse to settle down for a committed relationship and always look for the next best option.

5. Difficulty Trusting Other

Be it from your past relationships or childhood experiences, if you have developed trust issues, it can be really hard for you to commit to anyone. You will always be worrying that they might inflict the same pain from the past.

6. Avoidant Attachment

If you suspect your partner struggles with avoidant attachment, remember that it is not personal. This behavior often stems from early childhood experiences where emotional needs were not fully met. You can deal with a partner with these issues only by being patient and understanding. Avoid pressurizing them for commitment or smothering them with affection. Respect their need for space, prioritize open communication, and focus on slowly building trust and emotional intimacy.

7. Anxious Attachment

Individuals with anxious attachment issues might bombard their partner with texts and calls, demand constant updates, and struggle with feelings of abandonment even when there is no real threat. You can address this by engaging in conversations about their insecurities and fears and creating a supportive, safe atmosphere. Build trust gradually through consistent communication and reassurance.

Here are the signs to ensure whether you or the person you are dating have commitment issues or not.

What Are The Various Signs Of Commitment Issues?

1. Only Preferring Casual Dating

Casually dating someone does not always mean you have commitment issues. However, if you have been ending a relationship when you feel it is moving past the casual state and getting serious, it may indicate that you fear commitment.

2. Not Thinking About Future Of The Relationship

When two people start dating, they often wonder and analyze how their future will look together. However, this might not be the case for everyone. People who have commitment issues will avoid thinking about a future together with anybody they are dating.

3. Not Labelling The Relationship

Someone with a fear of commitment will avoid labeling their relationship like a plague. If you are dating a person who refuses to define your relationship or where you both are emotionally, it indicates the kind of person you are dealing with.

4. Avoiding Plans

If you constantly try to avoid making plans or cancel plans with your partner, it may indicate you have a certain fear of commitment. Not making plans with the person you are dating may indicate that you are hoping to make plans with others and not necessarily enjoy the company of your partner. It may also indicate that you are deliberately sabotaging your relationship and avoiding getting attached to them. All these signs may suggest that you are afraid of committing to the person and trying everything (be it consciously or subconsciously) to not commit to the relationship.

5. Not Invested In The Relationship

A person who avoids getting serious about a relationship will not invest their time knowing the other person’s details. They might feel an intense urge to withdraw if the other person in the relationship gets emotionally attached.

6. Not Communicating

One of the biggest signs of people who fear commitment is a lack of communication with their date. Communication is key to any relationship. If you avoid having clear communication with the person you are dating, you are not serious about them. People who fear commitment will usually take days to reply to your texts and calls.

7. Feeling Trapped

If you feel trapped or anxious when your partner says “I love you”, it might indicate you have a fear of commitment. You may constantly wonder what will happen next in the relationship. And when you are confronted with such feelings, you might find it easier to just walk away instead of staying.

8. Not Opening Up To The Other Person

Being emotionally open with each other makes two people grow closer. From sharing childhood traumas to future goals, people in a healthy relationship share everything. If you or the person you are dating has difficulty being vulnerable with each other even after dating for a while, it might indicate a fear of commitment.

Michelle Al Bitar, a blogger has shared her experience in a blog post about how she has overcome her fear of commitment. She says, “I was afraid to commit because I hadn’t met the love of my life just yet. There were many instances after I had met him that made me realize commitment was a good thing. They made me realize that I wasn’t afraid anymore (i).”

Now that you know the signs that indicate a fear of commitment, here are a few ways to help overcome them.

How Do You Fix Commitment Issues?

1. Notice The Patterns

Sometimes we follow a pattern or habit without thinking much about it. If you fear commitment, it is important to sit back and analyze the reason behind such fear. You need a clear understanding of the problem before fixing it.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Collaborate on a vision board that represents your collective goals and aspirations. Visualization can be a powerful tool in reinforcing commitment and working towards a shared future.

2. Therapy

Seek professional help – a therapist will help give direction to your thoughts. They will also help to figure out whether the beliefs you have regarding commitment are good or not.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Practices like mindfulness and meditation can help manage anxiety and fears related to commitment by promoting a sense of calm and self-awareness.

3. Communicate With Your Partner

If you like a person and want the relationship to work out, it is best to share your concerns about commitment with them. Communicate all the things that make you scared and explain your actions than just shut down. Have a sincere discussion about the direction of your relationship, what kind of commitment you want, and everything in between.

Space and understanding are important in any relationship. You cannot force anyone to commit to a relationship because it will only have negative consequences. If you have relationship commitment issues or know someone with them, give the person and the bond some time. For a relationship to thrive, it is essential for the people involved to be in a good state of mind, clear in the head, and positive towards life. Bad experiences may be inevitable. But you can control your life and prevent yourself from bearing the negatives of those bad times.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the commitment issue a red flag?

Commitment issues can be a red flag in some cases. For example, if you both started the relationship without any commitment, and then one of the partners is ready to take it forward to a committed relationship while the other is not ready, it can be a red flag, and it is best to end the relationship.

Can someone with commitment issues change?

Yes. A person with commitment issues can change in some cases. However, they should try to bring that change by seeking professional help or communicating with their partner.

Key Takeaways

  • Avoiding thinking about the future and being reluctant to describe the relationship are sure signs of commitment issues.
  • Poor communication, canceling the plans, and not spending quality time can indicate your partner fears commitment.
  • Therapy, transparent communication, and a clear understanding of the problem can help you tackle commitment issues in relationships.

Spot commitment issues and related red flags in your relationship – understand the signs, why it happens and learn effective strategies for resolution through honest conversations and more. To foster a stronger and healthier connection, check out the video below.

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Ronald Hoang
Ronald HoangRelationship & Family Counselor
Ronald Hoang is a clinical counselor/psychotherapist based in Sydney, Australia, with close to a decade of experience. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology from Macquarie University and a postgraduate degree in counseling from the Australian College of Applied Professions.

Read full bio of Ronald Hoang
Shivani Chandel
Shivani ChandelBeauty & Lifestyle Writer
Shivani Chandel is a postgraduate in English literature from Panjab University, Chandigarh and a certified relationship coach. She has four years of experience in copy editing and writing about entertainment, health, lifestyle, and beauty.

Read full bio of Shivani Chandel
Subhrojyoti Mukherjee
Subhrojyoti MukherjeeAssociate Editor
Subhrojyoti is an associate editor at StyleCraze with four years of experience. He has a master’s degree in English from Presidency University, Kolkata, and has also done a post-graduate certificate course in Editing and Publishing from Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

Read full bio of Subhrojyoti Mukherjee
Sneha Tete
Sneha TeteBeauty & Lifestyle Writer
Sneha has a master's degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Hyderabad, a professional Relationship Coach diploma, and over four years of experience in writing. She writes about relationships and lifestyle.Sneha began her career as an instructional designer, shifted to freelance technical and research writing, and self-published a novella on the theme of adolescent mental health.

Read full bio of Sneha Tete
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